Nick Hargrave - April, 11th 2023

Silver items commonly found in the U.S.A

Old valuable silver

Besides finding silver in your monthly silver coin or bar subscription from Investor Crate, silver is used all over the place. From silverware to solar panels, silver’s unique chemical properties make it useful in an abundance of applications including investing. This also speaks to how valuable a precious metal like silver really is. We often get lost in all the headlines and market news thinking big banks and governments are buying all the silver up. They actually only account for a slice of silver’s huge market capitalization.

Bullion, Coins and Currency

This is probably obvious to some, but silver is used as a currency or store of wealth all around the world. It even has its own global currency code like USD or EUR, which is XAG. Silver can also back a currency either by ensuring the amount printed equals some amount of silver or, as with old U.S. paper currency, can be redeemable for some amount of silver. 

The shiny white metal in some cases is made into authorized an official currency coins or used in an alloy with other metals to form coins, even gold ones. In fact, U.S. Half Dollars, Quarters and Dimes with a date of 1964 or early are made up of a silver and copper alloy. These coins are very valuable and are made up of 90% or .900 silver by weight. For whatever reason, Coin Star machines inside of Wal Mart don’t except the old silver variants and send them to the reject tray. Almost every time I walk past one, I check and there usually is a silver coin! They can range from $2 to $14 dollars depending on which one you find.

90% Silver coins

Image showcases junk silver coins, which are typically referred to as 90% silver dimes, quarters and half dollars that were minted in 1964 or earlier.

Silverware and Silver Surgical Tools

Did you know silver has amazing antibacterial properties? It’s hard to believe but silver is actually a broad-spectrum antibiotic which acts upon gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Meaning it literally kills a wide range of disease-causing bacteria. This is why kitchen utensils as well as surgical instruments had a .900 or .925 silver composition.

While spending $150 for a single fork or nearly $5,000 for a full set of Tiffany’s Flatware is to rich for my blood, silverware made out of actual silver made sense, especially in times where extremely hot water in automatic dishwashers wasn’t available to clean forks, spoons, knives, cups and trays.

Old silverware

Authentic sterling silver is made up of 92.5% silver and is always marked as such.

Solar Panels, Batteries and Cars

Approximately 25 to 50 grams of silver is used in an Electric Vehicles or EV’s. Silver is needed for the car’s circuitry and batteries as another super property of silver is its conductivity. It’s actually 3% more conductive than copper and around 25% more conductive than gold. In addition to this, silver serves an important role in solar panels and is a significant material used to conduct solar radiation.

Silver Jewelry

Not just silver jewelry but gold and platinum jewelry as well. Gold is a super soft metal in its most pure form, making it actually quite bad for jewelry due to the constant ware and tare. To help along this process silver (and sometimes nickel and zinc) are mixed in with the gold which turns it into a strong gold color alloy. The following are the mixture ratio’s.

  • 10k – 41.7% gold and 58.3% silver and/or other metal
  • 14k – 58.3% gold and 41.7% silver and/or other metal
  • 18k – 75% gold and 25% silver and/or other metal
  • 22k – 91.67% gold and 8.33% silver and/or other metal
  • 24k – 99.99% gold and .01 % random unknown (this is because nothing is considered truly pure)

As you read this article on your phone (that contains silver by the way) leave us a comment and let us know what you think. Did anything in this article surprise you? It’s interesting to see the other driving factors for the price of silver that we don’t sometimes think of. This by the way is only a short list of uses as it ranges from the medical industry, automotive industry, water purification and filter industry, dental industry and is used in RFID tech, superconductors, photography, chemical production and much more!

This is in no way to be considered investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Asset allocation and diversification do not ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss. Keep in mind that any form of investing involves risk and you should always consult with your financial advisor before making any financial decisions. Investor Crate, LLC., it's subsidiaries and staff will never advise you on any asset as our aim is to provide a fun and affordable service should you decide to purchase Precious Metals.

Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time, and you may gain or lose money.


  • Paula S.Jul 04, 2024

    So many things made of silver that don’t immediately come to mind!

  • Don RJul 04, 2024

    Great info! Always fun to look for silver items !

  • Duane OberliesJul 04, 2024

    Thank you for the very informative article about silver.

  • Paula S.Jul 04, 2024

    Lots of things made of silver that you wouldn’t necessarily think of without a reminder!

  • Paula S.Jul 04, 2024

    I’ve always thought you can’t go wrong with silver!

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